Interest Determination, Exploration and Assessment System® (IDEAS™)

Interest Determination, Exploration and Assessment System® (IDEAS™)


Interest Determination, Exploration and Assessment System® (IDEAS™) is a self-scored inventory that helps students and adults develop an awareness of possible career choices.

Interest Determination, Exploration and Assessment System® (IDEAS™) is a self-scored inventory that helps students and adults develop an awareness of possible career choices.


Charles B. Johansson, PhD

Age Range:

Adults and students age 13 years and older

Scoring Option:

Q™ Local Software or self-scored

Reading Level:

6th Grade

Completion Time:

Approx. 35 minutes (128 items)


Students across the U.S. with a variety of ethnic backgrounds

Publication Date:


Practical guidelines for career planners of all ages.

The IDEAS™ assessment is designed to be used in conjunction with career exploration and guidance units. The IDEAS inventory helps students and adults develop an awareness of possible career choices. The IDEAS test offers 16 Basic Scales based upon the widely-accepted RIASEC themes.

How to Use This Inventory

Ideal for the classroom, materials are self-contained for administration, scoring, and interpretation by students, usually within a single class period.

Teachers and counselors can use the IDEAS inventory with junior high, middle school, and high schools students in conjunction with career programs and guidance units to help students:

  • Familiarize themselves with careers and the world of work
  • Explore career paths that match their interests and aptitudes
  • Explore higher education alternatives
  • Plan their high school coursework
  • Develop an awareness of personal likes and dislikes that can have a bearing on career development and direction

The adult version of the inventory can be used with adults re-entering the job market to help:

  • Identify interests for individuals with limited work experience
  • Plan for a meaningful vocation upon retirement

Key Features

The workbook also provides specific occupational information and references to the O*NET™ codes and the Occupational Outlook Handbook.

  • Individual results usually can be understood with minimal interpretation by a teacher or counselor.
  • Item topics include school subjects, occupational titles and activities at a 6th-grade reading level to help ensure that the inventory is relevant to students.
  • The newly-revised Spanish version can be used to help reach a larger number of individuals.


The IDEAS test has 16 Basic Scales that are organized according to the widely accepted RIASEC themes:

Realistic: Mechanical/Fixing, Protective Services, Nature/Outdoors
Investigative: Mathematics, Science, Medical
Artistic: Creative Arts, Writing
Social: Community Service, Educating, Child Care
Enterprising: Public Speaking, Business, Sales
Conventional: Office Practices, Food Service


Psychometric Information

Norms for the IDEAS inventory are based on students in schools across the U.S., representing a variety of ethnic backgrounds. In addition to students, the female and male general reference samples used for the Career Assessment Inventory-Enhanced Version scale construction were used to represent adult data.

Report Options

IDEAS Test Booklet includes instructions for self-scoring (Product Number 35020)

Individuals score their own responses and record results on a profile grid. Combined gender norms are provided for use in comparing their scores with those of other individuals of their own age. Descriptive paragraphs and references to the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) and the Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) are also included in the test booklet. The IDEAS manual provides additional information about how to interpret an individual’s score based on the six RIASEC themes.

IDEAS Test Booklet, Adult Version, includes instructions for self-scoring (Product Number 35023)

View a sample completed student workbook

Scoring Options

Q Local™ Software – Enables you to score assessments, report results, and store and export data on your computer.

Hand Scoring – Administer assessments on answer sheets and score them quickly yourself with an answer key.

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